By David Sharp
Knox County rallied from four runs down, sending an April 21 varsity baseball game at South Shelby to extra innings tied at seven.
Bryce Johnston took advantage of a pair of two out walks, sending a Parker Dixson pitch to right field for a walk off hit scoring Mitch Greenwell with the game winner and an 8-7 South Shelby win.
“It was good to see our guys keep battling,” said KCHS head coach Jesse Crawford. “We played better. We were down 7-3 going into the seventh inning and put four runs on the board. We are having better at bats now. We are starting to get in a groove.”
Runners were all over the base paths most of the game. Tristan Lonberger singled leading off the game. Justin Reeves drew a two out walk putting Eagles on first and second base.
South Shelby pitcher Justin Wilt picked Lonberger off second base ending the KC first inning. Mitch Greenwell doubled and scored off Brent Fohey’s sac fly for a 1-0 Cardinal lead.
The redbirds loaded the bases off KCHS starter Lance McMahon during the first inning but failed to score additional runs. Cameron Morford and Dylan Morgret recorded RBI hits, putting Knox County up 2-1 after an inning and a half. Brett Bryant and Matthew McCarty set up the rally with consecutive one out walks. Both men later scored.
Ethan Decker and Alex O’Laughlin walked leading off the South Shelby second inning. The Eagles were able to work out of another bases juiced jam with no damage. Knox County (0-8) led 2-1 after two innings.
Brett Bryant put Knox County up 3-1 with a sacrifice fly, plating Justin Reeves in the third inning. Jordan Thompson answered for South Shelby, scoring Justin Wilt with an RBI hit for a 3-2 ball game after three innings.
Lance McMahon recorded three strikeouts in the third inning. McMahon pitched the first five innings for Knox County with four strikeouts. Brett Wilkerson and Justin Reeves reached base in the Eagle fifth inning. Justin Wilt slammed the door, retiring two of Knox County’s better hitters in succession with runners on second and third.
Mitch Greenwell walked with one down in the Cardinal fourth inning. Brent Fohey doubled. Bryce Johnston earned an RBI with a ground out to Brock Couch on second base. The game was tied at three with two out.
Justin Wilt pushed a run across forcing an infield error. Shane Smith delivered a clutch two run homer, putting South Shelby on top of a 6-3 score after four innings.
Jordan Thompson reached on an error leading off the South Shelby fifth inning. Thompson scored on another KC error for a 7-3 game after five innings. Neither team scored in the sixth, setting up the seventh. Brock Couch pitched a scoreless inning for Knox County with one strikeout.
Dylan Morgret drew a leadoff walk off South Shelby pitcher Justin Wilt. Brett Wilkerson fanned for the first out of the seventh inning. Justin Reeves walked. Parker Dixson delivered a one out RBI double.
Dylan Morgret scored making the score 7-4 South Shelby. Brett Bryant pulled the Eagles within a couple of runs with an RBI single. Matthew McCarty put the ball in play and was rewarded with an RBI.
Tristan Lonberger forced an infield error scoring Matthew McCarty with the tying run with two out in the top of the seventh inning. Bryce Johnston took over on the mound for South Shelby.
Justin Wilt pitched 6 2/3 innings with six South Shelby strikeouts. Johnston fanned a batter with Eagle runners on second and third base. Parker Dixson took the mound for Knox County and set the side down in order. The game went to extra innings tied at seven.
Knox County went down in order during their eighth inning. The first two South Shelby batters were retired in order in the Cardinal eighth. Mitch Greenwell and Brent Fohey drew consecutive two out walks.
Bryce Johnston sent the home fans home happy, belting the game winner for a hard fought 8-7 win. South Shelby (5-6) scored eight runs on nine hits and four errors. Mitch Greenwell scored three South Shelby runs. Shane Smith was 2-4 with a homer and two RBI’s.
Dylan Morgret reached base in three of five plate appearances. Morgret had two hits and a run scored. Knox County scored seven runs on five hits and five errors.
Parker Dixson pitched an inning and 2/3, striking out one man with one hit allowed. Dixson took the loss while Bryce Johnston picked up the win in relief.
By David Sharp